Sony’s CES 2024 presentation didn’t have much news for the first 25 minutes, but then the company revealed a new XR head-mounted display and controllers with… no name so far, aimed at “spatial content creation.” With a matte gray finish, the headset looks like a stripped-down PSVR2, and there appear to be two cameras facing out from the front. There is also a controller-wand and a smaller peripheral similar in size to a ring. The new hardware is apparently aimed at creators and artists who manipulate and craft products in virtual spaces. It will be available later in 2024, though pricing will be announced at a later date.
Although Sony didn’t go into great detail onstage, a press release dropped after the show wrapped with some key specs. The headset is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2, which was announced just as CES began. This means it’s a self-contained device that doesn’t require a computer to run. That chip is driving dual 4K OLED microdisplays, and provides “user and space tracking” for mixed reality experiences. Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said it would offer a “crisp viewing experience” and “intuitive interaction for 3D design”, teasing a device aimed at professionals, similar to its professional-level cameras and devices.
The device has “video see-through” functionality and a total of six cameras and sensors. A pair of controllers were shown off, one described as a “ring controller” for manipulating objects and another as a “pointing controller” for… pointing. Sony envisions creators being able to craft 3D models in realtime using the controllers and traditional input devices like keyboards in tandem:
“By holding the pointing controller in the dominant hand and attaching the ring controller to the fingers of the other hand, creators can model 3D objects using both controllers and a keyboard, while wearing the head-mounted display.”
Sony is also talking up the headset’s balance, saying it has fine-tuned “the balance of the device’s center of gravity.” The display portion of the headset also flips up and out of the wearer’s field of vision, allowing them to dip in and out of their work without needing to remove the headset entirely.
From the work shown on stage, it seems positioned less as a Vision Pro rival and more as a creative take on Microsoft’s HoloLens. Hopefully, we’ll hear and see more at Sony’s booth later this week. The company showed mock-ups of a user tinkering with a bipedal robot while wearing the new headset, manipulating the robot’s arm, while two monitors nearby showed things in extra detail. Sony says you’ll be able to, through third-party creative apps, review and collaborate on work remotely.
Update, January 8, 10:30PM ET: Added details from Sony’s post-show PR.
We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.